Village of Addison, New York - A USA on Watch Community
Emergency Management Task Force (EMTF)
An EMTF has been formed in the Village of Addison. 
The following is the main focus and mission of the EMTF. 
To be better prepared please review the information below.  
You may also go and for additional information.  The more educated you are before an emergency happens the better prepared you will be.
To be better informed about Terrorism and what you should know
visit this website  
A Note On Disaster Preparedness
Prior to a disaster, every municipality should consider how it will deal with a disaster and formalize that process into a written plan.  The exercise of pre-planning will not solve all of the problems that will be presented during an emergency.  However, it will give the municipality a head start and will save time that is critical during the initial stages of an emergency.
The following suggestions will provide some guidance in the pre-planning process.
*  Identify all possible disaster or emergency conditions that might occur.
*  Pre-plan what actions will be taken and by whom if one of these  
    conditions occur.
Schedule meetings or drills to walk through what actions or steps
    will be taken during the course of the disaster or emergency.
*  Inventory existing municipal equipment and manpower that may be
    available to respond to a disaster or emergency.
*  Prepare a listing of other equipment and manpower sources from
    nearby municipalities and contractors that may be available to
    supplement or provide specialized assistance in an emergency.
*  Develop a communications plan for emergency staff to coordinate
    activities of all personnel.  Assume that there are no telephones or
*  Maintain flexibility.  No matter how well you plan, the unexpected will
    occur.  Assume that plans will need to be altered to meet existing
Emergency Management Task Force (EMTF)
(Article #1)
Disasters and crisis situations are realities.  Some can be predicted.  Often, they are totally unexpected.  They can and do happen.  It is not a question of “if”, but of “when” and “where”.  Possibilities are both varied and extremely numerous.  To meet these challenges, the Addison Village Board, in 2006, sanctioned the formation of the Emergency Management Task Force (EMTF).  Since then, the EMTF Team has met monthly, with sub-teams meeting on a more frequent basis, to identify and pursue issue needs, create objectives, and plan and train in crisis management and emergency response.
 The Emergency Management Task Force is comprised of representatives from local emergency response agencies (fire, ambulance, police), Village of Addison Department of Public Works, Addison Central School district, Addison Village Board, USA on Watch, and the private sector.
EMTF has obtained some needed equipment, including three generators and portable radios, compatible with desired frequencies.  Other essential equipment is being pursued.  Four “disaster preparedness phases” are recommended by the County Emergency Response Team and in the master plan for all villages.  Several portions of the plan have been adapted to meet local needs.  Of the four critical phases – planning, risk identification and reduction, response, and recovery – EMTF has concentrated its focus, thus far, on the first three.  A plan is in place.  Training has occurred and continues.  Planning and implementation is ongoing. EMTF has developed a system of communications and procedures to maintain supportive contact with the public, local school systems, and emergency response agencies, both local and county.  Our mission includes focusing on the safety of all local and immediate area residents and preservation and timely replacement of all possible and critical services.  Meeting critical medical and health needs is a priority.
More information will be made available in the near future.  You may also visit the Village of Addison website at, and click on EMTF for more information.
Emergency management Task Force (EMTF)
(Article #2)
Our initial article gave background information regarding formation, rationale and purpose of EMTF (Emergency Management Task Force).  EMTF is a networking team working to meet community needs in the event of disasters and other emergencies.  Disasters come in many forms.  Possibilities are endless.  Even a short-term outage can be life threatening.  Our objective is to be prepared in a proactive manner.
“Communications” presents many challenges and becomes a major obstacle.  Your cooperation is imperative.  Alerts will be made by available and practical means.  During and after an initial “event,” information may be obtained at one of our designated “Communications Centers.”
Primary Communications Center: Jennie Mose Child and Parent Center, Tuscarora Elementary School, Cleveland Dr., lower entrance. Alternate Communications Center: Community Center, Community Drive (especially important if the village is divided—railroad and river).
(especially important if the village is divided—railroad and river).
Emergency Media are:  T. V.: Channel 18        Radio: 106.1 FM and 820 AM
Our Primary EMTF Command Centeris the Village Hall. The two alternate Command Centers are Tuscarora Elementary School and the Leland D Flint Community Center. Note: all plans and locations are subject to change, due to changing conditions.  Command centers are for EMTF and emergency response agencies’ use, only.  Public should utilize public media services or visit the designated “communications center(s).”
We recommend that a “Home Preparedness Kit” be developed. Plan and practice what you would do in case of a home or village/area emergency. Prepare an evacuation plan (fire) and two family meeting places (primary, alternate).  Your “kit” or transportable “grab and go bag” should include critical materials for every family member (including pets) for a minimum of three-four days.  Consider:  water (several gallons per day, per individual), canned/non-perishable food, clothing/blankets, Cash – power outage/ATM’s  non-functional, prescriptions, medical supplies (kit) and personal hygiene supplies.  Notify, NOW, EMTF (Village Hall), Addison Fire Department or Addison Ambulance Corps of any personal or individual medical requirements or needs you may have, (example: insulin, oxygen.).
Visit our website at  then click on EMTF for more info..
In the event of a disaster or other emergency, your cooperation and adherence to informational directives and regulations will benefit you and your family and will greatly assist the support and response efforts by emergency response agencies and EMTF.
Emergency Management Task Force (EMTF)
(Article # 3)
The Village of Addison, Board of Trustees, has approved and adopted a “Hazard Mitigation Plan.”  This complies with state and county regulations.  Also, it supports a very critical segment of the Emergency Management Task Force (EMTF) “Standard Operating Procedures”- that of “Risk Reduction.” Disaster can encompass many forms. Magnitudes vary. EVACUATION may be dictated.  “HOME EVACUATION” when necessary, must be considered a TOP PRIORITY.  Consider fires and other reasons for having to escape from your home quickly. We ask you to address and act on a three part strategy to protect your family.
           (I)PLAN:  Take the time.  Create an “Escape Plan” for your entire household.
1) Design a floor plan. Identify two escape routes from each room. Include a separate section for each floor. Designate primary and alternate room escape routes by different colored ink-broken line arrows.  2.) Exit Quickly.  3.) Smoke is deadly.  Stay low. Crawl or walk. Do not run.  4.) Stay calm. Do not panic.  5.) Keep a whistle in every bedroom to awaken a sleeping household.  6.) Children must understand the importance of being prepared, studying the plan, procedures and floor plan.  They must understand the importance of regular and frequent practice “drills”.  7.) Risk Reduction. Hold a family “Home Hazards Hunt.”  Find and eliminate possible causes of fire.   9.) Smoke Detectors.  Install on each floor, including the attic. Check batteries monthly and change twice yearly.  10.) Carbon Monoxide Detectors.  11.) Chimneys/stove pipes, fireplaces/stoves:  inspect and clean regularly and frequently.  12.)  Plan two family meeting places-one in immediate vicinity and one outside the home’s immediate vicinity. Name an out-of-state relative/friend as “point person” along with phone number. This is for a communications “tie up” for immediate family, relatives and close friends. 13) Instruct children in the proper procedures to call “9-1-1” in case of emergency.  They should know never to call from home concerning a fire in your home. Exit quickly.  Call from a responsible neighbor’s. 14) Have a collapsible ladder in each second story room.  15) PETS:   domestic animals are important.  But, one survey points out that some 47% of our adult population would not evacuate their household when mandated were they to have to leave their pet behind. Remember that you are important to your family. Your children and relatives need you. You need them. We realize that circumstances can vary.  The pet may be the only family member you have in your household. Please do not sacrifice two lives if a human life can be saved.  Maybe some proactive planning will help. Put the cat cage by a primary escape exit. Have leash/lead immediately available. On exiting, leave the door open. If you have time, grab the cat or dog. Open the bird cage door. 16.) Obtain fire extinguishers. Type A-B-C, 5 lbs. are recommended.  Learn their use.  Keep updated and check regularly.   17.) A child instruction and practice about “Stop, Drop, and Roll” and how to smother a fire (on another person) using a coat or blanket.         
         (II) PREPARE:  Discuss all of the above with all of your family members.  They must understand and take ownership.  Help each to understand the importance of the plan and the priorities. 
         (III)PRACTICE:  Practice your “Evacuation Plan”-your family “Escape Plan”—at least twice yearly.  Focus on the positive.  Try not to instill fear in children, but rather, the knowledge that planning, preparation and practice by all will make the family safer.
Each of you is important-to each other, to your relatives, friends, community, and to yourself.  President Obama has stated that our national safety should start in the home. We all have a responsibility of safety for our families. Please adopt and follow, “The 3 P’s.”
Your Emergency Management Task Force
Emergency Management Task Force (EMTF)
(Article # 4)
Disaster can strike quickly, at any time of day or night, and impact the entire household.
In the home, there may be a visible fire (smoke or flame), invisible fire (smoldering behind walls) or Carbon Monoxide—the “silent killer.”  Detectors can be easily purchased and installed.  They are an immediate form of warning.  They save lives.
DETECTORScome, basically, in two forms. 
SMOKE detectors, and CARBON MONOXIDE detectors.
SMOKE DETECTORS:  There are two kinds, Ionization (flame detection) and Photoelectric (smoldering fires). Minimum recommendations include them (high on wall; smoke rises) on each floor with one placed outside each bedroom.  Note: hardwired detectors may not function in an electrical outage situation. Have battery back ups.     Clean from dust every three months. Replace detectors, min. 10 yrs.  Consider “hush button” alarm for kitchen; never disconnect an alarm because of inconvenience.  Read directions prior to installation.  Twenty, (20) feet from cooking source may be recommended.  Hard of Hearing/Deaf?  Special strobe light detectors available for waking from sound sleep: see  (Vibration devices exist and can be added to these detectors.)
CARBON MONOXIDE (CO) DETECTORS:  Install minimum ONE on each floor.  Outside primary bedroom(s) is advisable.  CO is highly toxic, silent, colorless and odorless.  It can be fast or slow acting.  It is lethal.  CO is termed the “Silent Killer” with good reason.  A number of potential sources may exist in your home.  (Ventilate garage before starting vehicle.)  NFPA recommends interconnection of detectors. Remember, if electricity is out, hard-wired smoke/CO detectors may not function.
FIRE EXTINGUISHERS: Great -- if you have a small, containable fire.  Have them placed judiciously away from fire sources, but easily reachable. Read directions before the need arises.  Make sure that the rating is appropriate to fire potential.  Make sure all household members are outside.  Keep your back to an escape route when/if using. 
Your PRIMARY MISSION: GET ALL OUT! Then, call 9-1-1.  IF YOU HEAR A SMOKE DETECTOR ALARM, EXIT IMMEDIATELYIf a CO Detectorsounds, exit or move to ventilated/open window area and immediately call 9-1-1.  Think about keeping a cell phone, wallet/purse in bedroom for quick exit if needed?  To find out more, go on-line to (National Fire Protection Association).  Be Prepared.  Be Proactive.  “Reactive” may be too late. Be ready. Don’t become a statistic. We care.                                                         
Visit our website at  then click on EMTF for more info.
Your Addison EMTF Team  
Emergency Management Task Force (EMTF)
Our last EMTF article dealt with home protective devices—smoke detectors, CO detectors and fire extinguishers.  More information is in earlier Emergency Management Task Force articles.  Click and the EMTF link.  (Other helpful website references: ; ; and )
FACTS: American Red Cross statistics include the following evidence of lack of awareness and/or lack of attention.  1) 79% of Americans are concerned with rising heating costs; 48% use alternative heating sources to reduce bills.  HOWEVER, 2) 36% never clean/inspect fireplace or stove chimneys (pipes). 3) 23% of Americans don’t consider it essential to have an adult in the home when food is cooking on the stove.
4) 37% disable smoke detectors when they “go off” or sound in non-testing or “nuisance” situations. 5) More than 53% of households don’t have escape plans. 
STOVES/FIREPLACES: If you burn wood in stove or fireplace, inspect your flue, chimney and/or stove pipe at least once, annually.  Use hardwoods.  Maintain and clean on a regular basis.
Have a diagrammed, posted EVACUATION PLAN.  Plan, Prepare and Practice. Have two escape routes, a “Go Bag” and identified local meeting locations. (Include an out of state contact).  Consider cell phone and cash.  [Also, see websites: Village of Addison (earlier articles), Am. Red Cross, National Fire Protection Association/NFPA.]
EMTF COMMAND POSTS and COMMUNICATIONS CENTER: In a declared general emergency (natural or man-made disaster), EMTF would follow a set protocol.  The team would coordinate with local response agencies and the County Crisis Response Team. EMTF Command Posts (not accessible to public during emergencies) are: PrimaryCommand Post (Incident Command Center/ICC) is Village Hall.  Two Secondary (ICC’s) Command Posts are Tuscarora Elementary School and The Community Center.  The Communications Center (for general public information) is the Jennie Mose Family Resource Center, at Tuscarora Elementary School.  (A needed replacement would be publicized.)
Be Prepared.  Be Proactive.  Reactive may be too late.  Life is …    We care,
Your EMTF Team
Emergency Management Task Force (EMTF)
“Swine Flu” may seem old news.  We read different “headlines.” In reality, the need for concern about “pandemic” illnesses remains.  The following can help combat seasonal flu and the dreaded “pandemic flu.”  Readiness is essential.  Knowledge about symptoms, identification and “improving the odds” can benefit all homes.
Flu Symptoms: Fever above 100 degrees (F), body aches (sore muscles/joints), headache, cough, feeling very cold (or shaking chills), sore throat and trouble breathing. 
Reaction:MILDSYMPTOMS: rest, drink plenty of fluids (broths, soups, water), take fever medication (acetaminophen/Tylenol, ibuprofen, others). Take special caution concerning children/medication.  Keep “Wellness Log” (date/time-symptoms, meds; update.). BUT, if symptoms change or become more SEVERE, SEEK MEDICAL ATTENTION--especially IF ONE IS breathing rapidly at rest, skin is bluish, is confused, dizzy or weak (standing is difficult), has dark urine, fever lasts more than three (3) days, especially, high (102/+) &/or doesn’t decline within 24 hours. PREVENT DEHYDRATION; REDUCE FEVER (no aspirin very young children).  Apply common sense & good judgment. ER visits with mild symptoms often result in being sent home with above suggestions.  Exposure of the mildly ill in a crowded ER may not be best.
When close contact with sick family member: avoid close contact (6 feet) as much as possible; care providers wear masks & limit exposure, wear gloves in contact with any bodily fluids, use alcohol based hand sanitizer. Keep personal items separate. Avoid sharing (towels, clothes, food, utensils, sheets, even computers).  Washing clothes or dishes together—fine—but, use soap and hot waterDisinfect door knobs, phones, switches, handles, toys—any common surfaces/home & workplace. (Disinfectant mixture: 1 gallon water with ¼ cup bleach.)  Emergency Kit and other helpful suggestions can be found on many websites: and and  History repeats--new strains & different looks. “Pandemics” are and will continue.  It is not a question of “if” but of “when.”
Prepare NOW for Pandemic Flu or for any emergency. Plan ahead for what you and your family would need for an extended period of time of at least two (2) weeks.  Keep extra supplies of food, water, medications, and disaster kit supplies on hand.  Your action now may reduce later inconvenience/discomfort (or worse) and can “improve your odds.” 
EMTF website (all EMTF articles: click on EMTF
 Your EMTF Team.  We care.
Safety, Security and Help
(EMTF Article # 7) 
“Golden years” often mean doing things “slower and differently.”  Physical and other challenges may simply mean “impossible.”  One despises the words, “I can’t,” so “fix it projects” go undone.  Requesting help is difficult; offers are declined.  Friends and relatives become frustrated. Uncertainty, anger, discouragement and sorrow can result.  Must outcomes be negative and unproductive?  No!  We can and must work together.
Websites exist to inform about safety for seniors and those “challenged.”  or   “Specific concern searches” can be productive.  NO COMPUTER?  Contact EMTF (359-2100 @Village Offices or write c/o Village of Addison/Village Hall/35 Tuscarora Street/Addison, NY 14801.)  We can help.
Calling partners?  Life Line? Senior Security?   No spouse/care taker to check?  Create your own “Calling Partners” program (friends, relatives, neighbors).  Form a ‘calling team’ (folks you meet for coffee).  Think about having to wait helplessly after falling and breaking a hip.  Do you carry a cell phone?  Do you subscribe to “Life Line” or “Senior Security?”  (“Help/call button:” daily phone “checks.”)  “Peace of mind.”  Seniors and others need to be a part of the decision, when possible. “Discuss,” not “tell.” “Listen.”  “Perspective” is a two-sided coin.
BE PROACTIVE. (This also applies to any living alone.) Set up a “Home Safety Net.” Clear pathways, stairs, & closets.  Finalize call/check network.  Consider “Life Line.”  Counter top microwaves/lower cabinets reduce grief/prevent accidents.  “Grab bars” & grip handles (shower & tub), raised/handicap toilets, bathroom night lights, and more increase safety & improve “quality of life.”  Invite someone to help evaluate your home’s safety.  (Two pairs of eyes are better than one.)  
DISASTER PREPARATION:  Restoring electricity in a power outage can take days, even weeks.  During our 2008 outage, volunteers went door to door. Do emergency response teams know your needs? Please help us.  The county-wide coordinating agency, Steuben Office of Emergency Services, provides an easily completed “Needs” form. (Minimum information needed: name, age, address, phone number, condition, medication taken, equipment needs, concerns, emergency contact).  [Info is confidential].
 Form: on their website (for printout), or call or stop at the Village Hall, (359-2100), and pick up the form to fill out. Complete the form and return to:
Steuben County Office of Emergency Services; 3 E. Pulteney Square Bath, NY 14810; Phone: 607-664-2700.  Our local response agencies AFD, AAC, APD, EMTF, need this personal information, (kept confidential). This might just help you.    
Emergencies: call 9-1-1 >>> Always first, always best!   
Plan, prepare, and be proactive. More info at click on the EMTF link on the left of the page. 
Your Emergency Management Task Force Team, (EMTF)…   We care.
They might look like the “real McCoy.”  BEWARE!  If it seems to be too good to be true, it probably is … a SCAM.  You can always call the Better Business Bureau to be sure.
You might receive notification of being a winner in a Spanish Lottery. (I did.)  Too good to be true?  Yup! And, foreign lotteries are illegal in the U. S.  One can’t win anyway.
After returning to the mall parking lot, you see a paper stuck on your back windshield.    If you jump out to remove it, you could find yourself waving “good bye” to your vehicle.  The thief may have been watching.  While you are in back, removing the paper (likely a receipt), he hops in and drives off.  This scam has been applied nation-wide during the past year.
And, using your remote to lock your car doors may not be as secure as your think.  You walk away, turn around and click your remote.  “Beep.”  Lights flash.  You leave.  The thief may have used his “remote” to identify your “unlock code.”  When you return, your vehicle is gone.  Possible?  Yes.  Technology goes both ways.  Lock manually.
A “Home Scam,” called “Flim Flam” is a technique applied by a pair selling something or delivering information.  Once in your home, one keeps you occupied while the other roams about pocketing valuable items.  And, a request to use your bathroom may result in unhidden prescription medications disappearing.
Some new credit cards have a wireless chip with a small “)))” symbol on the back.  You don’t have to swipe the card.  You just hold it up to the card reader.  In turn, a new wireless receiver may allow a scam artist to walk by and read the credit card in your purse or wallet.  
Some “Fraud Warning Signs” include the following.  If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.  You may be pressured to “act right away,” or be “guaranteed success.” You are promised unusually high returns.  You are required an “up front investment,” and the potential investment “gains” are unbelievable.  (Maybe they even offer you a free prize.)  Buyers may want you to overpay them for an item and have you send them the difference.  The offer may not have the look of a real business.  Or, “something just doesn’t look right.”  If something looks like, acts like and smells like a fish … well, maybe it just might be … a bit “fishy.”           
                      EMTF: Emergency Management Task Force.
“Smart Phone” Scam:  Worldwide, roughly 370 million “smart phones” are in use. $15 worth of equipment—illegal in U. S., but obtainable through overseas websites—can remotely turn on and access “smart phones” for conversations, e-mails, text messages, photos and files.  Your location can be tracked (GPS).   Once infected, “smart phone” analysis is difficult and expensive ($2200). “Dumb” phones are far less vulnerable. Preventions:  pass code to lock phone.  Don’t open e-mail links from unknowns. (—Jan/Feb/11, p. 26. 
Winnings Check” scam:  Instructions are to immediately deposit an under $5,000 check and wire a fee claiming the rest of contest “winnings.”  Banks must “make available” (federal law) deposits under $5,000.  Over that, they may wait.  If you spend deposited money and the check is a “dud,” you’re responsible.  Lost is “fee” and amount spent.
“Applebee’s Gift Cards:” If you receive an “award”/“gift” through mail, on the web or a chain e-mail, or an offer of a free Applebee’s Gift Card, BEWARE.  If it looks too good to be true, it likely is.
Jury scam (FBI warning):  Someone phones, claiming to be a ‘Jury DUTY Coordinator’.  He/she states, “you may have missed answering a jury summons.”  You deny.  You are asked for social security number and date of birth so the summons can be cancelled.  You may be threatened with arrest warrant.  If you comply, your identity can be stolen.  This fraud has been reported in 11 states and is spreading.  Beware of phone or other “intimidation.”   
FRAUD WARNING SIGNS:  Sounds too good to be true/pressures.  “Must act immediately.” “Success guaranteed.”  Promises unusually high returns.  Requires upfront investment, (even free prize).  Buyers want to overpay you and have you send them the  difference. Something just “doesn’t seem right.” 
Be an informedconsumerInformyour children. Teach them to be skeptical.  Take an active interest in aging parents’ finances. Share information/use social networking about scams with friends and family. 
Fraud facts: Your bank, will never e-mail or call for your account number.  Don’t wire money to people you don’t know.  Be cautious of work-at-home job offers. (Check with the Better Business Bureau.)  No legitimate jobs involve reshipping items or financial instruments from your home.  Foreign lotteries are illegal in the U. S. You can’t win!  Check monthly bank statements. Call about unrecognizable charges.  Order a credit report from the three national credit bureaus, annually (
 Emergency Management Task Force (click on EMTF link)
Chimneys, Outlets, Cords, & Detectors
EMTF Article # 10
Disaster can strike quickly and, all too often, silently.  Have you addressed the following lately?
Fireplace and wood stove chimneys should be thoroughly cleaned at least once a year.  Yet, according to reliable statistics, some 36% of folks having chimneys never clean them.  Built up creosote and an unclean, uninspected chimney is inviting a chimney fire.  This can lead quickly to disaster.  Our Addison Fire Department members are very concerned about this and other home safety issues.  It is strongly advised that, if you burn in a fireplace or stove, you should clean and inspect chimneys, annually, before tragedy strikes and fix anything in disrepair.  
You should also check your outlets for any overloading.  Don't forget your attic outlets (and cords).  Check extension cords for any fraying or splits, especially near plugs.  Do you have too many extension cords connected into any outlet?  You should also place safety protectors on those unused outlets.    GFCI safety (interrupter) outlets of a minimum of one per circuit may be required. Please check with local code enforcement for current regulations.
Ultimately, a fire or the "silent killer"(CO) could invade your home.  Smoke detectors and Carbon Monoxide detectors are required by law.  Pay special attention to bedrooms.    Remember that, during an electrical outage, hard-wired detectors (smoke and CO) will not function.  Battery detectors should be well-maintained.  Change batteries at least once every six months.  Any detector may cease to function due to dust/dirt.  Clean and vacuum, regularly.   Think conservatively and with "prevention and safety" as priorities.  You should also have a family evacuation plan and practice it.  Possessions may be replaced.  Lost lives cannot.
For further information about emergency awareness, preparedness and prevention, refer to previous EMTF articles (esp. #4 & #5).  Check the Village of Addison's website.     Click on the "EMTF" option in the home page's list of choices.   Call our Fire Department with questions on chimney cleaning, cords, detectors, fire extinguishers other concerns. 
Addison Emergency Management Task Force (EMTF)
                                                     December 2012
"Evacuate now!"  If this EMERGENCY directive is issued, you may have only a short time, not days, to collect your family and your essentials, and leave home.  You might be stranded after dark, on a snow-covered country road, or on an interstate highway under a blazing sun.  What is essential?   First, think "survival," then think "comfort."    
Home Emergency "Go Bags" and Vehicle "Emergency Bags." Recommendations include the following . 
HOME "Go Bags": Water, Food, Seasonal Clothing, Tarp/Blanket, CASH/coins, remember,  (NO Electricity, NO ATM's);  Copies or list of contact/I.D. information for insurance policies and other critical documents.  (Ask what is needed after disaster ends, for "Recovery.")  Matches/sealed container; Whistle;  Radio & Flashlight/extra Batteries; First Aid Kit/manual; Sanitation & Hygiene items (hand sanitizer, and towels, toilet paper); Photocopies I.D. & Credit Cards; Special Needs Items (Meds, both Rx and over the counter, Vision/contact lens & Hearing Aid accessories-- include Batteries); PET SUPPLIES (Plan for shelter/some motels do not permit pets); Emergency contact persons & info; Essential Tools; Unique family needs items (story books, toys).
VEHICLE "Emergency Bags":  Flashlight/batteries; Evacuation maps; First Aid Kit/manual; White and/or Florescent Distress Flag; Flares; Booster/Jumper Cables; Bottled Water, Non-perishable High Protein bars; Food; Seasonal Supplies--Winter: Blanket, Tarp, Clothing, Mittens, Scarves, Hats, Boots/sturdy shoes; small Shovel, Sand/chains, windshield scraper.  Summer:  sunscreen lotion/min. SPF 15, sun glasses, /Rain items/umbrella, wide brim hat, etc.  THINK "Bag" Storage Space & Portability.  PLAN for each member of your family.  Do you have contact persons (local, distant)?  Evacuation routes/maps? Family "meeting places?" (2/close, intermediate).  Check   for additional information.
PLAN, PREPARE AND PRACTICE.  Be PROACTIVE; BE READY.  "EMERGENCY BAGS"--Home and Vehicle--may make all the difference.  From your;   (Local Emergency Management Task Force).   (for a list of all EMTF articles/click on EMTF)
"If Thunder Roars"
EMTF Article # 12
"If it roars, get indoors."  (NOAA/The National Weather Service)   Lightning kills more people annually in the U. S. than tornadoes.
There are no totally safe places.  But, some locations tend to be much safer than others.  Experts advise getting inside a secure enclosure, preferably a building.  Touch no metal or electronic devices.  A car can be a good alternative choice.  But, tires don't insulate you.  (Lightning strikes metal roof and then grounds through tires.)  Always, keep windows and doors shut.  Lightning can travel horizontally up to 10 miles. 
Cut the risk.  Think "H. I. P."  Lightning generally selects the HIGHEST object, one which is ISOLATED and that which is POINTED.  Being under/near a tall, lone pine on a hilltop during a thunder storm just invites trouble.  Sunny day?  TEN PERCENT of lightning strikes occur during clear sky conditions.  Lightning strikes have been recorded 25 miles from a thunderstorm.  Lightning is far reaching.
Before an outing, check the weather forecast.  If thunderstorms are predicted, choose "inside."   If you hear thunder, you can estimate distance from "flash" by counting seconds.  One second equals about 1/5 mile.  Five seconds is a mile, 30 seconds about six miles, etc.  The "30/30 Rule," sometimes applied by umpires, is 30 seconds, sighting to sound; stop game/get inside; then wait 30 minutes after last rumble to resume play. 
After seeing a lightning flash or hearing "distant" thunder, don't think twice.  Get off the water, off the playground, or off the course, and inside, ASAP.  Remember water is a good conductor.  Tents may protect from rain and snow, but not from lightning.  Get into a building or car and stay put .
From 1998-2008, the U. S. averaged 62 annual fatalities, plus 300 severe injuries and disabilities. Yearly, there are some 20 million thunderstorms, 2,000 at any moment.  Each year there are over 50 million lightning strikes.  A lightning bolt can produce five times more heat than our sun's surface.  Check the Internet for ("lightning") info, you will find it very "eye opening!"   So, "IF YOU HEAR IT, FEAR IT."  Don't become a statistic for the sake of a picnic.
Emergency Management Task Force                         
PETS & Evacuation
Article # 13
If a disaster strikes and your family must evacuate, temporarily or longer term, will you be prepared for all family members?  For your family pet?
In previous articles, we've focused on "go bags" and emergency preparedness procedures for human family members.   Don't forget the teddy bear, favorite toy and story book, or the family pet.  Preparing in advance heightens your chances of best providing for his or her needs. 
 P. E. T. S.  Prepare/Plan for Emergencies, Transport and Shelter/Security.  In an emergency evacuation situation, departure is imminent and time critical.  Your pet cannot prepare and depends entirely upon you.  Prepare a plan.  Practice as a family.  Pets need, shelter, food and water.  A "Go Bag" with easily filled containers (canned/dry food and water); enough for several days minimum is suggested.   You'll need disposable plastic bags or litter box.   A leash and travel crate may be needed.  Include veterinarian records/vaccination certificates (copies).   Prioritize other items, such as pet bed, brush and toy. 
Research and consider possible arrangements for shelter/boarding in advance.  Kennels, vets, and complying motels are limited.  Many motels don't accept pets, even under emergency conditions.   
Disasters come in many forms and can impact single households or entire regions.  Having to leave home is never easy.  Emotions run high. Talk with your children about pets and possible eventualities.  Evacuation notices can be issued because of immediate or impending life-threatening conditions.  Little or no time may be available.   Emergency preparation and planning increase your chances of realizing safety and relative comfort (physical and emotional) for your entire family -- including your pet. 
Emergency Management Task Force                                                 (EMTF)

"HOME and  AWAY"

EMTF Article # 14  


   Back in the '70's and '80's, Buffalo's T. V. Channel 7 Evening News "anchor" always would open with, "Do you know where your children are?" 


   As parents and guardians, we insist on knowing  where our children are, and that they're in good hands, properly supervised.    We require our children to obtain permission prior to visiting a friend or attending an activity, and when they will return.  We need to know the "5 W's" --who, what, when, where, why (& how).  And, we insist that a child phone home if s/he will be late.  Our first priorities always are children's health, safety and welfare. 


   As responsible adults,  we must not become lax.  We should consider our own safety, health and welfare and the 'well-being' of family.  We should set good role modeling examples for children.  The family's knowing where we are going, purpose, "time out" and ETA return is important.  This increases security and reduces stress.  And, it could benefit you in an unexpected emergency.   Once again, for "reporting out" and "reporting in," apply the "5 W's." 


   Leaving proper information for a trek into a national park wilderness area not only is good judgment and common sense, it is required.  Should not the same procedures be followed for trips of lesser distances?  Could an emergency arise from a trip to the store or to a evening activity n a neighboring community?  Might an "emergency" arise wherein someone else's "knowing" becomes critical?


   It takes so little time to advise a responsible family member, neighbor or friend.  "Report out" - "Report In."  Make this standard for every family member, whether for a short trip or longer journey.   It could make all the difference.

Emergency Management Task Force (EMTF)                                 (Click on EMTF) 

EMTF Article # 15
   Your GPS likely contains the "GO HOME" function.  DO NOTrecord your personal residence address  information!  In the unfortunate occurrence of your car's being broken into (at the mall or on a trip), this information becomes readily available to a thief and accomplices.  One phone call and, later,  you might return to your home, only  to find all valuables gone.
   "ICE #" ("In Case Of Emergency")Recommended is that each cell phone owner place his/her primary and secondary ICE names and numbers on their contact list.  First responders (fire department, ambulance, police) check for ICE information should an accident occur and identification and contact information for victims is needed.  List option: ICE # 1 (name & number), ICE # 2, etc.
   CELL PHONES-- ARE YOU AWARE OF THESE CAPABILITIES?        (Cut and carry/car or wallet.)                
1. The worldwide emergency number for cell phones is 112.  If you're out of coverage area, dial 112 and your phone will search any existing network to establish the emergency number for you.  112 can even be dialed when keypad is locked.    
2.  If cell phone's battery is very low or has died, type in *3370#.  Phone will restart with a reserve of energy and show a 50% increase in battery.  This reserve will get charged next time you charge your phone.
3. Punch in *#06# to find your phone's 15-digit serial number.  If your phone is ever stolen, call your service provider and give them this number.  They can block your phone, rendering it useless.
4. Rather than dialing 411 for directory assistance (which cell phone companies charge for), dial 800-FREE411 or 800-373-3411 without incurring charges
                                                                                      [Ref. L & M Financial Services Newsletter/Spring 2013]
Emergency Management Task Force (EMTF)                            (Click on EMTF)
EMTF Article # 16
   Annually, home accidents result in more than 20,000 deaths and some three million disabilities.  Other "less serious" accidents occur.  Many accidents, inside and out, are preventable.  Periodic home "safety checks" can help to reduce the risk of accidents and tragedies.  Please review and apply the following.  
   Electrical:  Are extension cords in good condition?  (At plug connections?)  Are any cords  stretched across (high) traffic areas?  Are outlets covered or locked?  Are they regularly checked for overloading?  Any wiring/outlets in attic?
    Utilities: Does every household adult know how to shut off water, gas and electricity, in case of emergency?  Are proper sized fuses used for replacement? (Not pennies & other improper substitutes!)  Adequate supply of spares? (Are circuit breakers correctly labeled?)
   Heating/fire sources:  Are fireplaces & open stoves adequately screened and protected? Adequate space around heat sources? (Any flammables nearby?)  Chimneys inspected and cleaned (minimum, once yearly)? Screened chimney and/or stove pipe tops?  Are open flames extinguished properly and timely?  Candles and other open flames not placed near curtains and walls?  (During electrical outages,  battery powered lights are recommended, not candles.)  Min. one approved, appropriately rated and charged fire extinguisher on each floor (away from heat sources -- like kitchen or wood stove)?  Smoke & CO detectors -- batteries changed twice yearly?  Extra batteries? (Electric detectors don't work in outages.)
  Emergency/General/Children:  Are all emergency phone numbers posted?  [911, fire, police, ambulance, doctor/pharmacy, utilities/telephone, contact persons.]   Is sturdy stepladder available (vs. climbing on chairs/stools)? Safety release locks for Interior doors (bathrooms, closets;  able to be opened from either side)?  Are open windows securely screened?  Lead-free paint removed from child accessible objects?  Are firearms unloaded and locked up?  Ammo secured? 
Be proactive. Reduce accident risk at your home. 
Emergency Management Task Force (EMTF)            (click on EMTF)
EMTF Article # 17
     None of us, at any age, is immune from taking a tumble in our home.  "Slips and trips" happen!  Each year, one out of three older adults takes a spill.  More than two million end up visiting the ER.  Hip fractures are the most prevalent fall-related injury.   Cervical and brain injuries are not uncommon.  Many falls can be prevented.  How?  Here are some simple, easy measures.
     The bathroom is a very high risk area. More than 80% of all falls taken by seniors occur there -- most in or around the tub or shower.  Place nonskid strips or rubber mats in your bathtub or shower.  Install grab bars next to toilet, in/by tub and on shower wall.    
     Stairs and hallways come next in the risk category.  We are advised to install guard rails on both sides of stairs.  Repair broken steps or loose, possibly torn carpet.  Install light switches at both top and bottom of stairs.  Use bulbs which adequately illuminate all areas.  In hallways, remove  clutter.  Consider nightlights and bright overhead lights.
      In your bedroom, place a lamp, nightlight and phone within easy reach.  Select a bed which is "easy in, easy out."
      One's kitchen should have a sturdy step stool, with a hand bar, for reaching higher up.  Avoid standing on a chair.  Plan ahead.  Place commonly used items within easy reach.   It's easy to "put things off."  Immediately clean up spills.
      In the living room, remove throw rugs, or apply nonslip backing tape to under-sides.  Keep walk areas clear of cords, newspapers and other hazards. 
      Too often, a fall results in requiring  assistance -- to get back up, or to get to the hospital.  Inside or outside the home, pick up toys, tools and other objects.  Be proactive.  Plan ahead.  Lower the risk of falling in and around your home. 
Emergency Management Task Force                                    Click on EMTF


EMTF Article #18

With a deer population exceeding 900,000, NYS annually records 70,000 reported deer-vehicle collisions. 2012, these exceeded 80,000--3rd highest in U. S. Serious injuries and fatalities occur. Statistical odds of a NYS motorist having such an accident are one in 140 (1:140). Add in unreported accidents (estimated, at least as many) and the chances worsen, considerably.

Lessen the risk of having a "deer crash."Be aware of and apply the following. These recommendations can help to avoid "becoming a statistic."

  • Scan roadsides -- all roads -- rural, interstates, even in suburbs and within village limits.
  • Where there is one, expect others. Deer often travel in groups.
  • October-December (approx. breeding season) have 3 times as many accidents as Feb. - August.
  • Dawn and Dusk -- highest risk (especially, 6-9 p. m.). Be alert 24/7, all year-long.
  • Deer are unpredictable. Confusion (by head lights, horns, etc.) can occur.
  • Expect the unexpected. EXPECT DEER TO RUN, reverse,even race.
  • Use high beams, wherever possible. Fog lights might help, if on low beams. Look ahead & to both sides.
  • Seat belts: everybody should wear them, children in proper restraints.
  • are at greatest risk of injury and fatality. (Extreme caution advised.)
  • Obey Warning Signs ("leaping stags"). They indicate significant number of recorded accidents.
  • DO NOT SWERVE. (This could cause losing control of vehicle.) Brake firmly and hold steady.
  • Adjust/Reduce speed, accordingly (road conditions, likely deer crossing areas). Reduced speed improves stopping time.
  • See a deer, warn on-coming traffic. Use "hazard" lights or "flick" headlights.
  • Don't rely on "devices" (deer alerts, deer whistles, reflectors). Your best defense isyour own "responsible behavior."
  • Weather: deer often 'bed down' during bad weather/storms. Before & after, they might travel(food, water, return). But, for whatever reason, deer may move during rain & snow. Always be alert.
  • For further information: &

Emergency Management Task Force (click on EMTF


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